Wednesday, September 24, 2014

That's a Good Question: 

Personal Effects Hatpins March 2014

Question: Jerry I hope that you can help me. You know I've collected hatpins ever since I was a little girl. Thats been some years ago. I have a collection of over 400 hat and stick pins and many holders. Some I've bought from you over the years. I've asked both of my daughters and my daughter in law if they would like to have them. I want them to have them now as opposed to when I'm gone. So I can see them enjoy them and collect it like I did. R. and I are looking at retiring to the warm weather of Texas in the next few years. Though I've enjoyed my collection I don't know what to do with it. I've not bought anything new in over a year and find the prices very high on the ones that I like. We have been to the Hatpin Society meetings several times over the years and many fellow collectors have asked if I would sell one or two pins that I have in the auction. I can't get my daughters to make a decision on my collection. One of my son in laws took a stick pin that he wears in his reenacting costume. Nobody else wants them. How can I convince them to take my collection? What do I do? Thanks for helping an old lady out.

 A wonderful selection from this Lady's collection.
Answer: I'd sell them. Point blank that is exactly what I'd do. First, you should sit down with all your children and their spouses AND your collection, and ask them one more time about what the future of your collection is going to be. I wager that you'll get the same reaction as you have in the past. I'd give them one last chance to step up to the plate and accept your hatpins. Also, you need to explain to them that they will also need to provide insurance coverage, they will need to know how to take care of them and have at least some of them on display. You see here's the real heart of the matter, you can't make others collect what they don't love or enjoy, its that simple. If your children wanted your collection, they would have been asking about it years ago. You've collected for many years and gained much enjoyment and knowledge from it and when the pleasures of collecting are fading away, its time to find a new home for your treasures. If you want to keep a bit of this as your family legacy, I'd assemble a nice but small grouping of pins and holders for each of your children, so that one day, it might encourage a grandchild or even great grandchild into collecting something that they love. Frankly, I wouldn't give them the “cream of the crop” either. More than likely, they will be tucked away in a drawer for many years. Save the rare stuff for your auction and future retirement.

There is some good news though. You sound like that you've kept up with the market. By attending The American Hatpin Society meetings and being a member of that group, has kept you current with what things are selling for. I'd talk with some of the other members of this society and see what they think of you consigning part or all of your collection to the next auction would be like. If that meets with approval then I'd talk to the auctioneer about consigning your collection. Bear in mind, selling your collection as a whole and not in parcel and parts will enhance a collectors desire. You also will likely have a sellers premium that you'll have to pay. It might be the auction of the year! I'd happily liquidate a collection, knowing that it would be going to people, like yourself, who will enjoy and treasure the things your took time to carefully collect. Spend the money on your retirement home in Texas or start a new collection.    

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